It is the second day of spring, but it’s snowing again in Blacksburg, Virginia. Last week Torc Robotics self-driving car, named Asimov, successfully drove on public roads through the area’s biggest snowfall of the season at the time. In this video, the car safely navigates low visibility and challenging road conditions in both urban and highway settings.
“A lot of self-driving car companies are taking on this challenge, but few have proven their ability to conquer winter weather on public streets,” said Torc CEO Michael Fleming. “Asimov did so considerably well, providing valuable lessons and bringing us one step closer to having our technology ready for the consumer market.”
He explained that before the roads were cleared, the vehicle couldn’t rely on lane lanes for finding its center. Instead, it used object height and the tracks of other vehicles to overcome reduced visibility and safely drive speeds up to 60 mph during the storm.
Torc’s self-driving cars use multiple radar sensors in the front and back. They are part of a multi-sensor system that includes cameras and LiDAR, which enable Torc’s perception software to detect objects in complex driving environments.
This milestone through snow adds to Torc’s growing list of self-driving system capabilities, initially released in December.
“We will continue to challenge our cars in the toughest conditions, proving their reliability and building trust among consumer drivers,” said Fleming. “You can expect more advancements and increased capabilities of our technology in 2018.”
About Torc Robotics
Torc Robotics, headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, provides end-to-end self-driving solutions across multiple industries, including automotive, mining, and defense. Founded in 2005, Torc has integrated its components and systems on ground vehicles ranging from consumer SUVs to 300-ton mining trucks—in safety-critical environments. Torc first gained notice when it developed the self-driving software stack for Virginia Tech in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. As one of three winners of the DARPA Urban Challenge, Torc has commercialized this technology through partnerships with original equipment.